Western Regional Research Center, USA
Friedman obtained a B.S. degree in Pharmacy at the University of Illinois, Chicago and received M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Bio-Organic Chemistry at the University of Chicago. After a post-doctoral year at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, he joined ARS-USDA. His research involves use of natural compounds to reduce foodborne pathogenic bacteria and bacterial toxins. Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Recipient of Spencer Award for Excellence in Research in Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Recipient of Award for Distinguished Achievement and Service in Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
In an effort to improve microbial food safety, we are studying the antimicrobial activities of different classes of natural compounds, including plant essential oils; apple, grape, olive, and tea extracts; bioactive components; and seashell-derived chitosan against multiple foodborne pathogens in culture and in/on food. For example, our studies, and those by other investigators showed that plant essential oils and oil compounds (a) inactivated susceptible strains of Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, and Vibrio cholerae as well as resistant strains of C. jejuni, E. coli, Mycobacterium luteus, Salmonella Typhi, and S. aureus as well as fungi, viruses, and parasitic protozoa; (b) inhibited bacterial biofilms; and (c) inactivated foodborne pathogens in fruits, fruit juices, vegetables, vegetable juices, wines, and in cereal, dairy, egg, meat, poultry, and seafood products. The results suggest that the most active formulations can be used as broad-spectrum antibiotics to protect food against contamination by pathogenic bacteria. Research needs include determining whether natural, food-compatible antimicrobials can complement or replace medicinal antibiotics against susceptible (nonresistant) and antibiotic-resistant microorganisms used to treat infectious diseases.